The Raider Review

Book Review: The Hate U Give

Nyla Howell, Staff Writer

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Courtesy of Creative Commons

Angie Thomas’s book “The Hate U Give” is an interesting and realistic perspective of the life of a black teenage girl going through real-world problems. The story is set in a low-income, majority black neighborhood called Garden Heights and features a 16-year-old girl named Starr Carter. The neighborhood she lives in faces conflicts such as, disputes between citizens and police officers, gang violence, drug activity, and crime. Although living in a one story house with two brothers and parents, Starr attends a gated, suburban private school called Williamson Prep. Her classmates have butlers, go on vacations to amazing places on breaks, live in mansions, and live in houses in gated communities with less social problems. She is in the minority among her classmates.

However, Starr survives in both of these contradicting environments. She says she has two personalities: “Garden Heights Starr” and “Williamson Prep Starr.” These  different versions of herself allow her to adapt to the people around her and get along with them. “Garden Heights Starr” uses more slang and street knowledge.  “Williamson Prep Starr” uses formal vocabulary and only shares certain parts of her life that will relate to the lives of her friends.

Starr does her best to keep these two sides of her life separate. However, that all changes the night her best friend,  from Garden Heights, Khalil is shot by a white police officer in front of her. She has to deal with pressure form her friends in Garden Heights to fight for justice for her best friend. But if she came out as a witness, her Williamson friends would go against her because they hear all of the negative information about Khalil from the news and think that the police officer deserves to be let free. Starr has to deal with pain of not being understood by her friends in Williamson because she refuses to let both of those personalities come together. Eventually, she stops resisting and starts being herself which resulted in the support she needed to speak up for Khalil and the young black community.

I really enjoyed this book because I could relate to some parts of Starr’s personality. I think Thomas uses this book to send a message to black teens in America. It made me aware of the problems that go on in my generation them like drug abuse, gang violence and police brutality. The book showed me teens that I have a voice in society and can have impact on communities. Thomas also encouraged me to not sit back and let problems pass through from generation to generation. We should be working to better our communities and contribute to society and stop trying to be accepted and please everybody.


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Eleanor Roosevelt High School's Student-Run Newspaper
Book Review: The Hate U Give